E. coli enteritis : Symptoms & Signs, Diagnosis & Tests

Symptoms & Signs

Symptoms occur when E. coli bacteria enter the intestine. The time between being infected and developing symptoms is usually 24 – 72 hours.

Diarrhea that is sudden, severe, and often bloody is the most common symptom.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Gas
  • Loss of appetite
  • Stomach cramping
  • Vomiting (rare)

Symptoms of a rare but severe E. coli infection include:

  • Bruises that happen easily
  • Pale skin
  • Red or bloody urine
  • Reduced amount of urine

Diagnosis & Tests

The health care provider will perform a physical exam. A stool culture can be done to check for disease-causing E. coli.


Review Date : 1/20/2010
Reviewed By : Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; and George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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